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Talking to older children

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Marathonwaseasy posted 10/5/2013 17:01 PM

Our older two are 15 and 12
After dday I didn't throw fwh out as he expected as much for the kids as anything else. They've been through enough with his mental illness and hospital admissions. I honestly believe he would self destruct if I told him to leave. He's not well. Which doesn't excuse it but he's their dad whatever
We are working towards R and he's taking responsibility for getting healthier. We are working towards R for us. I love this beautiful, feckless, unfaithful, damaged ill man
So I have decided not to tell the kids he's been unfaithful. My decision. Our son at 15 has accepted that the dynamic at home has changed and that I'm stressed and fwh's putting me first. No problem. Dd who is 12 is not coping. She feels usurped. Her dad is giving me more attention and not having secrets from me with her. It's clearly much healthier but I don't know what to say to her. She's freaked out by the affection he's showing me and realises that she suddenly needs to knock before coming into our room.
Any advice?

[This message edited by Marathonwaseasy at 5:03 PM, October 5th (Saturday)]

PricklePatch posted 10/5/2013 18:04 PM

We have a 14 dd. We have had discussions about boundaries. She started getting that conversation at 11. We explained we had poor boundaries and went through them with her. I also realized by reassuring her with quality time and words and deeds she got a better life lesson. She now knocks and is less jealous.

Marathonwaseasy posted 10/6/2013 02:34 AM

Thank you
Isn't it amazing how similar our experiences can be in this?
Fwh went off on a self loathing existential rant about how he came to all this and I was able to tell him to wise up his experience and actions weren't that unique and if others can get over it so can we.
SI is such a help

bionicgal posted 10/6/2013 08:34 AM

You are not alone. . . we thought our son (9) would be pleased that mom and dad were closer and acting as a unit. Not so! He was angry at first when the boundaries shifted, and he felt very left out. He said we were on a "love canoe" and he felt like there was no room for him there. We did have a very child-centered family life, which turned out to be kind of a problem.

I am not sure we have hit the correct balance yet - I worry that we are putting a lot into us now, and not enough into him. (Babysitters once a week, too much "TV time" while we hash stuff out.

It is true, though, that I got a lot of needs for affection and just being needed from my son -- and I have to believe that in the end, shifting some of this away from him is healthier for all of us. Also, I know that my H and I being securely attached is much, much better for him.

It has been 4 months for us, and our son is adjusting, and he does seem happier. We are all happier as a family, so have hope. You can talk with her about how you guys realized that in order to have a happy marriage, you needed to pay more attention to each other. Since you are teaching her what she'll emulate one day, it is a good message.

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